Super crunchy eggless wholewheat rusks – 2 ways of making

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Eggless wholewheat rusks
Eggless wholewheat rusks
Rusks, everyone’s favourite tea time biscuits, are hard, crispy and twice baked like biscotti. They are perfect for dunking and ohh-so-yummm!! 

Every time I opened a rusks packet, I had the urge to bake them at home. I even tried ‘baking’ (read ‘drying’) bread pieces till they got crunchy but they tasted really bland. Then I found a rusks pack labelled as ‘cake rusks’. That was when I realised the rusks can be made by baking cake twice to get such crunchy texture.

Have you tried the Biscotti recipe that I shared? Biscottis are twice baked cookies and after a successful attempt at them I was thinking to try my hands at rusks. Finally I did it 😀

I spent two days trying and correcting the recipes to get perfect rusks. First, I tried them with buttermilk but didn’t get a nice texture. Then I tried with condensed milk and got success. And yes, I wanted them to be eggless.

I baked two more batches again with buttermilk and condensed milk to perfect the texture and enhance the taste!

Four attempts and I had most amazing tasting rusks that too home baked and with goodness of wholewheat flour. 

So here I am sharing two different ways to make perfectly crisp EGGLESS wholewheat rusks. And let me tell you one secret – home baked rusks are way too delicious than the shop bought ones!!!

How to make eggless wholewheat rusks

Eggless wholewheat rusks
Eggless wholewheat rusks

Preparation time: 10 minutes + 20 minutes resting time
Baking time: 35-40 minutes + 40-60 minutes of drying
Baking equipment used: one 1 lb loaf tin and a baking tray
Yields: 16 rusks

Eggless wholewheat rusks with buttermilk

Wholewheat rusks with buttermilk
Wholewheat rusks with buttermilk
Ingredients :
  • 125 ml or half cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 150 grams or 1 cup wholewheat flour (known as aata in Hindi)
  • 1 tablespoon fine semolina (suji or rawa in Hindi)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 115 gram or 1/2 cup butter, soft at room temperature
  • 40 gram or 3 & 1/2 tablespoon or 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Method : 
  • Add lemon juice to the milk and keep aside to curdle.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan-assisted/350 F/gas 4.
  • Grease and line your loaf pan with baking parchment.
  • Dry roast semolina for 40-45 seconds on medium low heat just to remove raw smell. Do not make it brown. Take it out of the pan once done.
  • Sieve flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda and salt together for couple of times. I did it thrice. 
  • In a big bowl, cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Beat well.
  • Add all spices and vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Now add flour mixture and curdled milk in three batches, adding little at a time and mixing properly after each addition.
  • Do not overmix!
  • Tip the mixture into prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until skewers inserted in the middle comes out clean. I kept mine for 40 minutes until I got a nice brown colour on top.
  • Leave the cake for 10 minutes in the tin, then invert on a cooling rack.
  • Keep your oven door open while the cake is cooling down.
  • Once your cake is cool enough to handle, slice them into equal size pieces. I got 16 pieces.
  • Now line a baking tray with baking parchment (or aluminium foil) and lay these cake slices carefully. Use spatula to lift these pieces as they would be very soft.
  • Set you oven temperature to 150 degrees C/130 C fan-assisted/300 F/gas 2 and bake these pieces again for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the sides and bake until they are nice golden brown in colour and feels crispy when you touch the centre. I kept mine for 30 minutes. 
  • Switch off the oven and leave the rusks to dry in the oven only.
  • Forget about them for 30 minutes – 1 hour :). Yes, a bit lengthy process but completely worth!
  • Take them out of the oven when they have turned crisp.
  • Cool them down completely on a wire rack or in a plate before storing them in an air-tight container.

Eggless wholewheat rusks with condensed milk 

Eggless wholewheat rusks
Eggless wholewheat rusks
Ingredients :
  • 300 grams or 1 cup wholewheat flour (known as aata in Hindi)
  • 1 tablespoon semolina (suji or rawa in Hindi)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 115 gram or 1/2 cup butter, soft at room temperature 
  • 150 gram or 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Method :
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan-assisted/350 F/gas 4.
  • Grease and line your loaf pan with baking parchment.
  • Dry roast semolina for 40-45 seconds on medium low heat just to remove raw smell. Do not make it brown. Take it out of the pan once done.
  • Sieve flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda and salt together for couple of times. I did it thrice. 
  • In a big bowl, cream butter till light and fluffy.
  • Add condensed milk and beat well.
  • Add all spices and vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Now add flour mixture and milk in three batches, adding little at a time and mixing properly.
  • Add lemon juice and mix with light hand.
  • Do not overmix!
  • Tip the mixture into prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until skewers inserted in the middle comes out clean. I kept mine for 35 minutes until I got a nice brown colour on top.
  • Leave the cake for 10 minutes in the tin, then invert on a cooling rack.
  • Keep your oven door open while the cake is cooling down.
  • Once your cake is cool enough to handle, slice them into equal size pieces. I got 17 pieces.
  • Now line a baking tray with baking parchment (or aluminium foil) and lay these cake slices carefully. Use spatula to lift these pieces as they would be very soft.
  • Set you oven temperature to 150 degrees C/130 C fan-assisted/300 F/gas 2 and bake these pieces again for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the sides and bake until they are nice golden brown in colour and feels crispy when you touch the centre. I kept mine for 30 minutes. 
  • Switch off the oven and leave the rusks to dry in the oven only.
  • Forget about them for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour :). Yes, a bit lengthy process but completely worth!
  • Take them out of the oven when they have turned crisp.
  • Cool them down completely on a wire rack or in a plate before storing them in air-tight container.
Eggless wholewheat rusks with condensed milk
Eggless wholewheat rusks with condensed milk

As you can see the colour of these rusks made with condensed milk is different from the one made with buttermilk. With buttermilk I added brown sugar, hence change in colour.

Stepwise pics :
Stepwise pics for baking eggless wholewheat rusks
Stepwise pics for baking eggless wholewheat rusks

Though both the rusks came out fabulous, the one with buttermilk are more on the healthier side. If you consider texture and taste then my vote goes to condensed milk one. But then there’s very little margin. You would not be able to make it out as the difference is not very significant.

Both are yum and winner all the way!!

Tips :
  • Do not brown or burn semolina. You just have to toast them a little.
  • I added semolina for that perfect crunch. One batch, made without semolina, was crunchy too but addition of semolina brought a very crispy texture to the rusks which I loved <3
  • Sieve the ingredients at least thrice. It’s important for aeration.
  • The batter will be a bit dry, not of running consistency. The batter made with condensed milk was more stiff than the buttermilk one. Do not tempted to add more liquid. We want a ‘wet dough’ consistency  here not the ‘runny batter’.
  • Addition of spices took the rusks to another level. My first two batches were without spices but next two batches were full of flavours! So add them without thinking twice.
  • Plain, bland and dry rusks were never of my liking. These rusks are made with butter so stick to butter only. Though you can try using clarified butter (ghee in hindi). Ghee is any day better than butter or oil. I have planned to make next batches with ghee. You can give it a try too.
  • Milk/butter/condensed milk and all other ingredients should be at room temperature.
  • The ‘drying’ time depends on the oven. If you find the rusks are browning quickly and not getting crisp, then lower the temperature to 10-15 degrees C.
  • After cooling down if you feel the rusks have turned a bit soft, dry them again in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 C and keep the rusks tray in the oven. Switch off the oven and leave the rusks inside to dry. It should turned crisps again.
  • Store them properly in an air-tight container after they have cooled down properly.

Any other issues, give me a shout at my Facebook page The Baking Sutra.

So what are you waiting for?

Just grab your apron and bake them. Believe me, you won’t ever buy rusks again (unless or until you feel too lazy to bake 😉 ).

For a change you can try these Nutty & fruity biscotti.

Have a look at these too.

Super delicious homemade digestive biscuits

Healthy oats and almond cookies

Aussies traditional Anzac biscuits

Mocha finger cookies dipped in chocolate

Hope you will enjoy these rusks as much as we did.

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I will see you all with another post shortly. And it’s a very exciting post 😉

PSSSS!!! Keep it secret till we meet again.

Jxx